Review: Return of the Assassin (All The King’s Men #4) by Donya Lynne

November 8, 2013 Review 2

Review: Return of the Assassin (All The King’s Men #4) by Donya Lynne

Malek and Gina are two vampires with big problems and pasts they can't let go of. Malek has never dealt with and accepted the death of his first mate, Carmen, and Gina has never been able to let go of the pain she suffered at the hands of her first mate, an abusive half-Dacian named Arman. But now that Malek and Gina have met, they had better start getting over their pasts, and fast, because Gina is Malek's new mate, and she's on the run from a pair of Dacian hunter-assassins out for blood vengeance.

Neither Gina nor Malek are eager to see her fill the role of mate, but biology and Mother Nature don't want to hear their excuses. The longer Malek and Gina fight the bond between them, the more they will suffer. Will they be able to get over their painful pasts and accept the healing they can give to each other before it's too late, or will they wait too long and lose each other forever?

Title: Return of the Assassin
Author: Donya Lynne
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Rise of the Fallen, Rebel Obsession, Micah's Calling
Series: All the King's Men #4
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Rise of the Fallen, Rebel Obsession, Micah's Calling
Published by Phoenix Press
Source: Author
Published: October 29, 2013
Genres: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Pages: 303
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: three-half-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

I was looking forward to this book and it did not disappoint. Gina and Malek both needed each other and I was so happy with their ending. I love it once you start getting into a series and the author is still able to surprise you with new additions to the story or twists you couldn’t see coming.

What I did like was most of the book. It had plenty of action, suspense and romance to keep the storyline moving not to mention a possible plot to overthrow the King??? I like the introduction also of a mystical weapon and two new kinds of vampires that are ancient but as of yet had not been mentioned. The world continues to build and this book split off to focus also on a couple side plots with Bishop and Apostle as well as Brak, Trace’s long lost brother. However Gina and Malek were the main focus of this book. I did figure out what would happen for some of the characters in this story but still there were plenty of surprises and this did not hurt the plot at all.

What I did not like as much was some of the dialogue and back and forth bantering that was usually between the couples. At times it seemed a little long for me and made me want to jump ahead of it. Other than that I wouldn’t change anything about this book.

All in all another great addition to the AKM series and I will continue to read this series as they come out. I can’t wait to read the next one as it looks like it will be Trace’s book.



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Vanessa: Would you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Donya: I live in Indianapolis and love animals, especially cats. Someday I would love to breed cats, but we’ll see. Hubby isn’t too keen on that idea. As far as writing goes, I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. Deep down, I’ve always known I was born to write novels, it just took me a while to realize that.

Vanessa: Can you tell us about your current work in progress, perhaps you could share a favorite fact or piece of fascinating information about it?

Donya: I have numerous works in progress, so this could be tough. I’m working on the next book in the All the King’s Men Series, which is the much-anticipated story about Trace. This story will be really interesting. Fans have weighed in on his story since book one, Rise of the Fallen, and everyone wants something different for him. Overall, I think everyone will be happy with how the story turns out. What I’m getting from Trace is something I’ve never seen in any other book, but we’re talking WHOA! I loved the concept immediately, though, and thought, “Readers will peel themselves off their ceilings when they read this.”

Vanessa: What was your most challenging book to bring to life?

Donya: Rise of the Fallen, which was my first book ever published. It was challenging because, while I knew how to write, I was still learning how to craft for story and how to publish. In hindsight, I would have set the story up differently, but that’s part of learning and why self-publishing can be risky. Even so, Rise of the Fallen has done extremely well with readers and a year-and-a-half later still strikes a chord with them. And it was a USA Recommended Read and a 2012 eLit Awards gold medalist for erotic fiction, so even though I can see how the story could be better now that I’ve learned more, the book is still a commercial success and most decorated of all my books so far.

Vanessa: What was your favorite scene or chapter to write, which book and why?

Donya: I’ve got a lot of favorite chapters and scenes. One is in book one of my upcoming Mark Strong Chronicles. Good Karma is going through its second round of edits right now, so look for it early next year. I love everything about this story, but one particular scene has become my favorite and involves ben wa balls…and the difficulty in retrieving them once they’re in. I laughed so hard as I wrote this scene, but I also felt the character’s embarrassment. The scene is so endearing, comical, and sexy all at once.

In Heart of the Warrior, my favorite scene came at the end when Arion finally admitted his feelings to Severin while he was in the emergency room. Major tear jerker. I also loved their first love scene…and how embarrassed Arion got by a discovery Sev made.

In Return of the Assassin, there is a scene between Micah and Malek, who were once best friends, that is deeply emotional. It’s one of the most special moments for me from the entire series, and again, a major tear jerker.


Lastly, in Rise of the Fallen, toward the beginning, when Micah is perched on the banister of his balcony, naked, in the freezing cold, staring out over Chicago, that scene was the one that started it all. The entire series was born from that one scene. Micah set the tone right from the start.

Gaele: Three items that you cannot function without for a week?

Donya: 1) Hot tea. 2) My computer. Without my computer, I can’t write. And I HAVE to write. 3) Music. I use music to create specific moods while I’m writing, and I simply love music and need it to relax and lose myself for a while.

Gaele: What is the one thing that your readers would be surprised to hear about you?

Donya: That I was severely depressed three years ago to the point of being almost unable to function. I had lost my job, been in a terrible car wreck, gotten extremely ill with flu, lost my mom, and had a major plumbing crisis, all in less than five months. It was too much, and I shut down. I hid my depression well, but I cried almost every day, and some days I cried all day. That was a very bad time in my life, but I’ve moved past it and have never been mentally healthier. It took a lot of work, though, and a lot of soul-searching and self-empowerment. But it’s been said ruin is the road to transformation, and I’m living proof of that. I’m in the best place I’ve ever been.

Gaele: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Donya: Both, but mostly a pantser. I make notes about what I see happening, but once I start writing, I let the characters dictate the story, so a lot of times, what I loosely outlined gets discarded in favor of the character direction. But sometimes that’s not the case and my loose outline is how the story flows.

Gaele: If you weren’t able to write, what would be your dream job?

Donya: Photographer or personal trainer. I love taking pictures and would love to learn more about photography. And at one time, I was studying to be a personal trainer. I was a gym rat. Then I blew my back and that was the end of that. I miss lifting weights, but my back injury won’t allow it.
Lusty Penguin:  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Donya: That there is no such thing as writer’s block. For me, it’s the process. With every book I’ve written, I’ve had periods where the story came at me fast and furious for days, and then shut down. Then, weeks or even months later, the story would start pounding me again relentlessly for days or weeks, and then shut down again for a while. In the beginning, this scared me and I feared it was writers block. What I’ve learned is that these lulls are part of the process. They serve two purposes: 1) To let me know I’ve taken the story in a direction the characters don’t like or want. Once I realize that and allow them to tell the story again, the story begins talking once more. 2) To let my subconscious work on the story for a while. This isn’t block, this is turning your story over to the gods of creative writing by not thinking about it. This is my sign that I need to stop writing for a few days or a week or whatever and watch TV, read the newspaper or books, get out of the house, do something different. It’s the story’s way of telling me that I need to do something else to discover the next step in the story. This has happened so much at this point that I no longer fear it or stress over it. I simply embrace the process for what it is, writing lulls and all, and everything works out.

Megan: What fictional character would you most like to be stranded with on a deserted island? (it can be one of yours or another authors)

Donya: Micah. He’s my main character from the AKM Series, and I know that if he and I were stranded on a deserted island, not only would I be in good hands, there would also never be a dull moment. Micah is intense while also being the life of the party. He’s also great under pressure, a survivor, and is the most skilled fighter in my AKM world. He knows how to create weapons from common objects, and he knows how to survive in the harshest of conditions.


Thank you for having me on your blog today! It’s been a pleasure.

Donya Lynne Bio

Donya Lynne is the author of the award winning All the King’s Men Series. Making her home in a wooded suburb north of Indianapolis with her husband, Donya has lived in Indiana most of her life and knew at a young age that she was destined to be a writer. She started writing poetry in grade school and won her first short story contest in fourth grade. In junior high, she began writing romantic stories for her friends, and by her sophomore year, they had dubbed her Most Likely to Become a Romance Novelist. In 2012, she made that dream come true by publishing her first two novels and two novellas. She has several more stories planned for the AKM Series, as well as two sister series that are in development.

Author Links

Donya Lynne Fan Page          AKM Reader Group          Donya Lynne Profile

          Donya Lynne’s Blog          Donya Lynne’s Website

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